Muhammad Iqbal: Asrar-e Khudi [Secrets of the Self]

(585 words)

This Persian philosophical poem consists of 871 rhyming couplets in the “masnavi” form [a narrative poem composed of distichs corresponding in measure, each consisting of rhyming couplets]. The subject matter of the poem is individual selfhood or “khudi” within a re-imagined Islamic framework. As Nicholson put it soon after the poem appeared, Iqbal’s ideas were not “typical of any section of his co-religionists” and involved “a radical change in the Muslim mind” (Nicholson 1920, p. xxxi). The poem is divided into nineteen sections, including a prologue. The majority of the sections address the nature and value of individual selfhood, the necessity of self-assertion, the creative …

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Majeed, Javed. "Asrar-e Khudi". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 July 2010
[, accessed 26 May 2015.]